Gender differences in innovation and competitive settings

Schmallenbach, Leo

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-635638
Document Type: Doctoral dissertation
Year of publication: 2022
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Hoisl, Karin
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Organisation und Innovation (Hoisl 2015-)
Subject: 330 Economics
Keywords (English): gender differences , competition , innovation , top performers
Abstract: This dissertation adds to the growing body of literature at the intersection of economic sociology and psychology on how gender differences shape outcomes, by putting the spotlight on women and men top performers in competitive settings. It is particularly important to look at gender differences and their effects on outcomes in these settings for three reasons. First, top performers contribute disproportionately to value creation, economic growth, and innovation, implying a strong lever for gender differences to materialize. Second, it remains to be understood whether gender differences that have been indicated for the general population also apply to men and women in these specific settings. Third, due to the underrepresentation of women in the most competitive segments of the labor market, there is an unmet need for large-scale empirical evidence. In combination with the first two points, this evidence is important to not only understand drivers and antecedents of the prevailing gender gap in competitive settings, but also to highlight the gendered potential in human capital that is likely foregone. This evidence can help to derive and articulate countermeasures aimed at increasing the representation of women in such settings. In three separate chapters, this thesis aims to advance our understanding of how gender differences shape outcomes in innovation and competitive settings by answering three distinct questions: 1) How do gendered evaluations of top performers spillover to their protégés in a mentor-protégé relationship? 2) How do gender differences between star inventors impact innovation outcomes in inventor teams? 3) How do gender differences moderate the influence of pressure on performance of extreme precision tasks?

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